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Thread: Morning Reads: Tuesday, 15 January 2008

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    Morning Reads: Tuesday, 15 January 2008

    TodayÔÇÖs Birthdays / Calendar






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    BMW GroupPress Club:




    Speech by Stefan Krause, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Sales and Marketing, MINI Press Conference, 2008 North American International Auto Show,
    01/14/2008

    Ladies and Gentlemen:
    Welcome to MINI!

    I have some very good news about MINI to share with you today. This auto show early in the year is great for a manufacturer when there are excellent retail figures to announce for the past year. This is the case with MINI. And we are pretty confident that next year will be the same too.

    I would now like to present the models which will make that happen, as well as our plans for the future.

    First of all, let's look back over 2007.
    Last year we sold more than 222,000 MINIs around the world. That's 18.5 percent more than the year before - a new "all-time-high" for the MINI brand. That is the most MINIs we have ever delivered!

    In this respect, our decision to expand production capacity at our MINI plant in Oxford, England was the right one - even though we had to interrupt production on occasion last year for model change-over and capacity expansion. We are now in a strong position to meet our customer demand for all our current three MINI models.

    What makes MINI so attractive?
    MINI is the only premium offering in the small car segment. What speaks for MINI is not only its brand appeal, but also the substance of the MINI vehicles.
    The MINI offers high-quality engineering combined with a state-of-the-art drive train. MINI models boast exemplary safety features, high fuel economy and reliability - which in turn ensure that the vehicles retain their high value.

    Here in the U.S. we have also continued MINI's success story over the past year.
    More than 42,000 North American MINI fans bought a new MINI in 2007 - more than ever before and at the same time seven percent higher than the previous year.

    These figures once again prove that:
    The second generation of MINIs, which were only launched in the U.S. market in February 2007, is being well received.

    The same applies to the MINI Sidewalk Convertible with its particularly high-quality interior
    configuration, available in the U.S. since April. One in five MINI Convertibles sold in the United States was ordered with the Sidewalk Package.

    Our American MINI customers, in particular, appreciate the more upscale models: The MINI Cooper S models continue to make up more than fifty percent of sales.

    MINI established itself as a successful long-running global brand many years ago.
    Across the globe MINI is the premium small car for fans of authentic modern design and for people with an unconventional lifestyle.

    The MINI is sold in more than seventy markets worldwide. That makes MINI a true global player. And that is something of a rarity in the small car segment.

    Since 2001 we have sold more than 1.1 million MINIs. One in five cars on the road today drives on American highways. The United States is now the second biggest market for our cult brand, behind the U.K. - the home of the MINI - but ahead of Germany.
    MINI generates excitement. We experience this first hand again and again at different events. Take our second MINI United Event in the Netherlands last summer which brought together more than 8,000 MINI fans from all over the world.

    Moviegoers were recently able to experience the sheer fun of driving a MINI along the highway on the big screen. In "The Heartbreak Kid", Ben Stiller drives a MINI Cooper Convertible down the West coast into Mexico. His excitement at driving a MINI can't even be dampened by the presence of his rather difficult new bride.

    What can you expect from the MINI brand over the coming year?
    We will continue to grow MINI in 2008. Three key factors will play a role:

    1. With regard to brand:
    Last year we acquired the John Cooper Works performance brand. This will be expanded into a separate business unit. All performance-related products and activities will be marketed under this "sub-brand". Over the next year we will also be launching those models here in the U.S.

    2. With regard to markets:
    We plan to further expand our dealer network across the United States. There are currently 82 active MINI dealerships. This number will grow to approximately 95 by 2010.

    3. With regard to products:
    The new member of the MINI family - the MINI Clubman - will generate additional growth for MINI. And here it is!

    We unveiled the Clubman in the US for the first time in November at the LA Motor Show.
    On February 16th it will be launched on the North American market - with the MINI Cooper Clubman and MINI Cooper S Clubman variants.

    On the one hand, the MINI Clubman is a typical MINI:
    Its go-cart feeling and design elements are unmistakable. We optimized the suspension for the Clubman which guarantees pure driving fun. And it has the iconic MINI features which design aficionados love so much.

    On the other hand, the MINI Clubman is quite different.
    It embodies a type of vehicle which does not otherwise exist in its class. The MINI Clubman is the essence of the historic "shooting-brake". It combines coupe elements with very distinctive rear split doors.

    We aimed to make the MINI Clubman a contemporary reinterpretation of the earlier Mini classics of the sixties.

    That is why the MINI Clubman does not fit into any of today's usual vehicle categories. It is just one-of-a-kind.

    Many of the MINI Clubman's features are also quite unique.
    It is a five-door vehicle with a difference.
    The split doors at the rear make the easy loading. The Clubdoor on the right-hand side makes it easier for passengers to step into the rear.

    At less than thirteen feet in length, this MINI is also extremely versatile: With the rear seats
    down it provides more than 32 cubic feet of cargo space.

    The MINI Clubman offers an unusually high degree of customization both inside and out.
    Just like all the new 2008 MINI models the MINI Clubman offers innovative solutions for integrating the latest in mobile communications - including the iPhone, of course.
    This makes MINI a clear leader in in-vehicle communications technology.

    MINI will continue to be individualistic and expressive into the future - as we expand the MINI family further.

    The next model planned is a MINI Crossover. For sure, this Crossover MINI will convey the same driving fun and go-cart feeling - but paired with other functional features.

    Enjoy your visit to our MINI exhibit. I hope you will take home lots of lasting impressions!

    Thank you for your time.
    Pass the mustard and UP THE REVOLUTION!

    St. Paul Pioneer Press , Minneapolis Star Tribune

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    Speech by Dr. Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Dr. Klaus Dr?ñger, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Tom Purves, Chairman and CEO of BMW (US) Holding Corporation, BMW Group Press Conference, 2008, North American International Auto Show, Detroit, January 13th, 2008
    01/14/2008

    Ladies and Gentlemen,
    This dynamic performance symbolizes an exciting year for BMW - worldwide, and specifically
    here in the U.S.:
    1. We are launching BMW diesels in North America.
    2. We are launching the BMW X6, the first Sports Activity Coupe.
    3. We are bringing the successful BMW 1 series to the American market.

    Here you have "The New BMW Advanced Diesel with BluePerformance". These are the first two BMW diesel models for the U.S. market: The BMW X5 xDrive35d and the BMW 335d sedan.
    Both cars will be available at BMW centers starting in the fall of this year.

    Why are we bringing BMW diesels to North America?

    More and more of our American customers expect the ultimate driving machine to give them not only high performance - but also fuel-efficient and environmentally-friendly solutions.

    BMW Advanced Diesel with BluePerformance is the right solution at the right time. Diesel technology is an important step on the road to more fuel-efficient, lower-emission mobility. Mercedes has already released clean diesel cars with blue tec technology in the U.S. market.
    Diesel does not mean giving up on "sheer driving pleasure" - definitely not for our customers.
    These two cars here are each fitted with a three-liter in-line six cylinder diesel engine with Variable Twin Turbo technology: A sensational engine which is quite unique.
    It is the cleanest diesel engine with the sportiest and best performance-in the world!
    In every respect, it fulfills the strict requirements of the U.S. market with regard to cutting emissions like CO2. At the same time BMW uses SCR technology to reduce nitric oxides (NOX).

    We will be offering BMW Advanced Diesel with BluePerformance in all 50 States.
    In this way we are leveraging our outstanding BMW diesel experience in terms of sporty and efficient diesels in the U.S. Back in 1983 we built the fastest diesel car of the day - the BMW 524td. Today the BMW diesel with Variable Twin Turbo technology sets new standards:

    ÔÇó No other diesel engine has won the Engine of the Year Award more times.
    ÔÇó No other engine can accelerate as dynamically using so little fuel.

    In short: BMW diesel technology is an extremely attractive option. It is an excellent way to respond to the current challenges regarding reducing emissions.
    Our customers all around the world have been excited about BMW diesels for many years. Today, more than 40 percent of all BMW cars sold are diesels, in Europe almost 70 percent. Last year, BMW sold more diesel cars than any other premium manufacturer. In Europe 90 percent of BMW X5 customers and more than 60 percent of BMW 3 Series customers order diesel versions.

    Our BMW Advanced Diesel with BluePerformance builds on our EfficientDynamics strategy.
    We have followed this strategy for many years. EfficientDynamics stands for the consistent reduction of the fuel consumption and emissions of our cars - in the short term, in the medium term, and also in the distant future.

    We are currently using EfficientDynamics to reduce the fuel consumption and the emissions through highly efficient diesel and gasoline engines. Further measures are being implemented such as intelligent lightweight construction and energy management.

    We apply EfficientDynamics as standard and across the entire fleet. No other car company in the wolrd is as consistent in this as we are.

    Here in the U.S., just a few months ago one of the most recent studies published by the renowned organization Environmental Defense confirmed: Between 1990 and 2005 BMW cut fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of new cars sold here in the United States much more than any other manufacturer.

    EfficientDynamics also includes hybrids as medium term solution. The first BMW Hybrid will be hitting the market in 2009. The BMW Concept X6 ActiveHybrid is here at our stand. The BMW Hybrid again uses around 20 percent less fuel than a comparable car with combustion engine. It offers our customers real benefits on all roads.

    In the long term our vision for EfficientDynamics is hydrogen. Here at our stand, the Hydrogen 7 proves: emission-free driving is already a possibility. With EfficientDynamics we are well-prepared for the future. And we already benefit from it today.

    Last year no other premium manufacturer delivered more cars to customers around the world than the BMW Group. This is also due to EfficientDynamics.

    In 2007, the BMW Group sold a total of 1.5 million cars. That is 9.2 percent more than the year before.

    Let's take a brief look at the three brands of the BMW Group:
    ÔÇó Sales for the BMW brand climbed to more than 1.27 million cars worldwide in 2007:
    an increase of 7.7 percent.
    ÔÇó MINI is more popular than ever. With more than 222,000 cars sold, MINI has reached an all-time high since its re-launch in 2001 - figures were up 18.5 percent on the previous year.
    ÔÇó In 2007 for the first time we sold more than 1,000 Rolls-Royce motor cars.

    All three brands have reached new heights.
    The United States continues to be our largest single market. Last year the BMW Group sold more cars here than ever before: 336,225 to be exact. That is 7 percent more than in 2006.
    BMW alone was the most desirable European premium brand among U.S. customers with 293,795 units sold. BMW was also the most successful European automobile brand in the U.S.

    We are very proud of our success in the United States. In 2008 we aim to continue our growth here in the world's biggest automobile market.

    The same applies to the BMW Group worldwide: Towards the mid of 2008 we expect a stronger increase in sales, while growth will be more moderate in the second half of the year. Overall, we aim to maintain our top position as the world's leading premium manufacturer in 2008.

    What is more important to us than just sales growth is the profitability of our company.
    This year, we are also launching exciting new models for our customers. You will see now two world premieres.


    Dr. Klaus Draeger, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Development

    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    We are pleased to present you some very exciting new BMW models today. One of these brand new vehicles will be produced at our plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina. It is an excellent example of the further diversification of our product portfolio.
    May I present to you: the new BMW X6.

    What you see is: the most sporting, dynamic member of the BMW X family. The BMW X6 is a coupe with:
    ÔÇó the impressive performance of a sports car
    ÔÇó the versatility of a Sports Activity Vehicle
    ÔÇó the sporting design of a large coupe
    ÔÇó and a high-quality, sporty, elegant interior.

    It is a unique combination of coupe and SAV. Therefore the BMW X6 creates an entirely new segment: the segment of the Sports Activity Coupe.

    One of BMW's core competences is identifying trends and niches. This enables us to not only respond to customer wishes but to anticipate their desires. We are opening up new market segments. Remember, the BMW X5 was groundbreaking. With this model we established a brand new segment in 1999, the Sports Activity Vehicle. With the Sports Activity Coupe we are now taking the same step into a new segment.

    We are setting the trend - we set the pace, competitors will follow. For now the BMW X6 is truly unique!

    Like the X5, we also expect the U.S. to become the largest market for the BMW X6.
    I would like to point out two technical highlights coming along with the BMW X6:
    1. The chassis and drive train.
    2. A world premiere, the new V8 engine.

    First, the chassis and drive train.
    Like all our X Models, the X6 has the intelligent all-wheel drive technology BMW xDrive. BMW xDrive ensures the power distribution between front and rear axle. An electronic control unit regulates the power distribution according the driving conditions.
    With the BMW X6 we are also introducing a world innovation: BMW Dynamic Performance Control.

    o Dynamic Performance Control distributes drive power continuously along the rear axle between the left and right wheels.
    o Depending on driving conditions, for example driving along a winding road, the torque at the outer wheel can also be increased to improve the turn-in behavior of the vehicle.
    o In this way BMW Dynamic Performance Control - together with BMW xDrive - ensures even better handling and great driving stability.

    Second, the world premiere of the new V8 engine.
    We developed a powerful new V8 engine for the X6 to benefit this sportiest member of the X family. For the first time we have implemented second-generation High Precision Injection and Twin Turbo Technology in a V8 engine. The result is impressive: 400 HP (SAE) and 450lb-ft at 1800-4500rpm (407 HP (DIN) and 610Nm (metric system)).
    The BMW X6 delivers power but also impressively low fuel consumption and emission figures which are best in segment.

    We will manufacture all current X models in Spartanburg. The BMW X6 will also roll off the assembly line here in the United States - as will the next generation of the BMW X3.

    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    What is the second hot BMW model? Today we are celebrating a world premiere:
    This is the new BMW 1 Series Convertible.

    Most of you know the driver of this car: Tom Purves.

    Tom, the 1 Series Coupe had its debut in Los Angeles a couple of weeks ago and now the new Convertible here in Detroit. What do you think about the 1 series coming to the US?


    Tom Purves, Chairman and CEO of BMW of North America

    To answer that question let's look back 40 years when BMW brought the 2002 to the U.S. market. It is not exaggerated to say that that car changed the performance car landscape forever and defined the term "sports sedan" for the entire world.

    And now, we are doing it all over again: The 1 Series is the modern interpretation of the 2002.
    With its compact body, front engine, rear drive, 50/50 weight distribution, and its powerful 6 cylinder engine the 1 Series is the purest form of "the ultimate driving machine" yet to date.

    The only "problem" customer will face with the 1 Series is that it is too difficult to choose between the Coupe and the new Convertible. I think I will have to take the Convertible back home with me after the press conference to make up my mind.

    The 1 Series Coupe will be available from March, with prices starting at $29,375. The Convertible will arrive in time for the summer with a prices starting at $33,875.


    Dr. Klaus Draeger, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Development

    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    We are convinced that there is a demand for a Premium Convertible in the compact segment. Our BMW 1 Series Convertible meets that need. The most important characteristic of this car is: the typical driving experience of a BMW Convertible.

    What exactly defines the typical BMW Convertible driving experience?
    Two things: The unique design and the typical BMW engine performance.

    The authentic design of the new BMW 1 Series Convertible can be traced back to BMW's earlier Convertibles with its streamlined silhouette and low waistline.

    BMW driving performance comes along with:
    ÔÇó The heart of each BMW - the engine performance.
    ÔÇó An engine fitted out with a series of innovations for low fuel consumption.
    ÔÇó The sporty driving dynamics that come along with rear-wheel drive.

    The Convertible offers a more intense open-air driving pleasure than compact convertibles usually do. At the same time it represents a distinctly youthful interpretation of BMW's brand values.

    Whether you are driving through the city or cruising along the highway, it is most certain that the 1 Series Convertible is an ultimate driving machine.


    Dr. Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG

    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    The United States is also home to BMW.

    And I promise you this: A BMW will continue to be the ultimate driving machine.

    Thank you for your attention!




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    THE END
    Pass the mustard and UP THE REVOLUTION!

    St. Paul Pioneer Press , Minneapolis Star Tribune

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